25 Standout Athletes and Influencers Honored at Inaugural IMPACT25 Gala in New York
Last night, espnW celebrated the 25 athletes and influencers on its IMPACT25 list at the inaugural espnW IMPACT25 Gala, presented by Northwestern Mutual. The IMPACT25 is an annual list of individuals who have made the biggest mark on women in sports in the last calendar year. Chosen by their fellow honorees, the U.S. Women’s National Team was recognized as the “Women of the Year” after a distinguished run in 2015 that saw the team end the year as the No. 1-ranked team in the world upon capturing the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and posting a 20-5-2 record. Hope Solo, Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone accepted the award on behalf of the team. Additional honorees in attendance at the event included WNBA stars Tamika Catchings and Elena Delle Donne, NFL newsmaker Jen Welter, National Women’s Hockey League commissioner Dani Rylan, college softball standout Lauren Chamberlain and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield.
In December, espnW unveiled the 2015 IMPACT25 list, in which respected athletes and influencers from the sports world were selected by a panel of sports experts and luminaries including women’s sports influencers, former players and ESPN’s own editors and executives. Other notables who joined the U.S. Women’s National Team on the IMPACT25 list included: Simone Biles, Misty Copeland, Elena Delle Donne, Chloe Kim, Carli Lloyd, Jessica Mendoza, Ronda Rousey, Breanna Stewart, Serena Williams and Kirsten Gillibrand and many more.
“The U.S. Women’s National Team captured the attention and hearts of the nation in 2015, and their influence across the sports world has been felt in significant ways since their World Cup triumph,” said Laura Gentile, SVP of espnW and Women’s Initiatives at ESPN. “This team focused a tremendous spotlight on the athletic accomplishments of women, and we’re honored to showcase their achievements at our inaugural IMPACT25 Gala.”
Special Olympics athlete and IMPACT25 honoree Olivia Quigley took home the first-ever Pegasus Award of Inspiration, honoring her perseverance, accomplishments and fervent will during her battle with stage four breast cancer. Quigley was diagnosed while training for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games and took home two gold medals in the 100-meter run and 400-meter relay, and a silver in the 200-meter race, despite undergoing months of chemotherapy and treatment.
The evening’s program was hosted by ESPN’s Hannah Storm and included entertainment from Grace Potter, lead vocalist of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and best known for singing with Kenny Chesney on the hit duet, “You and Tequila.”
For the first time, espnW also teamed with Marvel Comics on the IMPACT25 list. Marvel created comic book “covers” to portray each honoree as a Marvel superhero. For additional information on IMPACT25 including a full list of honorees, go to: espnW.com/IMPACT25, The Marvel Comics illustrations are available on a dedicated page, sponsored by Walmart at: espnW.com/Marvel.
espnW serves women who love sports. espnW.com provides an engaging environment that offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and shares a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women. Founded in July 2010, espnW lives across digital, television, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.
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